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434 dead as cholera ravages 18 states

By Chioma Obinna on 09/09/2018

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•Cholera patients on hospital bed
•Cholera patients on hospital bed

The country may be battling the largest outbreak of cholera barely a month after the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, said it had contained the outbreak.

Fear is growing as many Nigerians pay with their lives. Almost on daily basis, in the last one week, the media has reported the death of one or more Nigerian due to cholera.

Many states are affected. The fear that the situation may get worse may not be unconnected with the fact that the rains, a factor in the spread, are still much around and every part of Nigeria is a potentially fertile ground for cholera outbreak.

There have been conflicting figures of cholera cases but the latest Epidemiology Summary Sunday Vanguard obtained from the NCDC shows that no fewer than 434 Nigerians have lost their lives to the outbreak and 23,893 suspected cases recorded between January and August 2018.

The reported cases were from 168 local governments in 17 states of Adamawa, Anambra, Bauchi, Borno, Ebonyi, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Yobe, Sokoto and Zamfara as well as the FCT since the beginning of the year.

According to the Epidemiology Summary, in the week of 34 (21- 26 August,) about 228 new suspected cases were reported in Zamfara (105), Kano (96) and Katsina (27), with 9 deaths (5 in Zamfara and 4 in Kano).

Also, update from the World Health Organisation, WHO, and other partners on Echo Daily reveals that, with such suspected cases, including deaths, the figure has exceeded the combined number of cases recorded from 2015 to 2017.

The WHO report traces the huge number of cases to factors including limited access to water and sanitation infrastructure, poor hygiene practices and harsh weather conditions.

Fresh in the minds of Nigerians is the latest outbreak of cholera in Borno and Kaduna states. In Borno, 14 people were killed by the disease with over 380 hospitalised in the past week.

The state Commissioner for Health, Haruna Mshelia, who confirmed the report, said as of September 5, 2018, a total of 380 cases of suspected cholera had been reported with 14 deaths.

Mshelia said most of the suspected cases and deaths occurred in camps for displaced people in Maiduguri, while other victims were from neighbouring districts on the outskirts of the state capital.

He, however, disclosed that the state government and non-governmental organisations were working to contain the outbreak which had spread to eight local governments across Borno.

In Katsina, 18 people were feared dead in Charanchi Local Government Area and 24 hospitalised following the suspected outbreak of cholera which earlier claimed 47 lives in the LGA.

Media reports also show that the outbreak had earlier claimed 29 lives in about 181 cases recorded in Funtua, Kusada, Kaita, Ingawa, Katsina and Kankia council areas of the state.

Some of the communities affected include Malole and Manye where eight persons tested positive and were reportedly responding to treatment at the Comprehensive Healthcare Clinic in Charanchi.

These fresh outbreaks have created panic among Nigerians particularly residents of affected areas.

•Excerpted from a Vanguard report

Source News Express

Posted 09/09/2018 10:21:58 AM

 

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